Attention focuses on Ford Motor Co.’s assembly plant in Avon Lake, OH, with the June 27 conclusion of Mercury Villager production. Officially, the minivan program falls victim to the auto maker’s “revitalization” plan, which also sees Mercury Cougar, Lincoln Continental and Ford Escort disappear from showrooms. Ford says these are “low-margin” vehicles that don’t suit its renewed effort to minimize cost and optimize profit. But Villager has been on the endangered species list since 2000, ...

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